Buck Karnes Bridge on Alcoa Highway rededicated

Buck Karnes Bridge on Alcoa Highway rededicated

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A new sign was unveiled on the Buck Karnes bridge Monday. A new sign was unveiled on the Buck Karnes bridge Monday.
The Buck Karnes Bridge was rededicated Monday morning following a 21-gun salute. The Buck Karnes Bridge was rededicated Monday morning following a 21-gun salute.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A sign along an often-traveled Knox County bridge has been replaced after a driver noticed it did not properly honor the man after whom the bridge was named.

The Buck Karnes Bridge was rededicated Monday morning following a 21-gun salute. The bridge carries Alcoa Highway over the Tennessee River.

James "Buck" Karnes earned the Medal of Honor in World War I, and the bridge was named in his honor in the 1930s.

However, after a renovation, the sign showing Karnes' name did not indicate he was a Medal of Honor recipient.

A driver spotted the omission, prompting state Representatives Becky Duncan Massey and Gloria Johnson to sponsor legislation to change the signs.

The Medal of Honor Convention, which Knoxville is hosting next month, provided the funding to pay for the new signs.

"It's going to be a really exciting time. The city is going to be alive. We're gonna bring hopefully as many living recipients as we can of the medal of honor here. and today is just one of several events that you're going to see over the next year plus to get some momentum built for our convention," said Chris Coyne, the co-chair of the Medal of Honor Convention.

Karnes also served as a Knoxville police officer after his service in World War I.

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